Hi Folks –
I’m very pleased to announce that Buffalo is shipping its TeraStation 5000 WSS NAS appliances with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2! That’s right… You can now get one of these sleek little units online directly from Buffalo or from other online sellers. And with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 preinstalled, you can deploy one of these storage appliances in little more time than it takes to open the box.
The TeraStation 5000 WSS model line includes 2-bay, 4-bay, and 6-bay desktop models, as well as a 4-bay rack-mount model. All four models are backed by a limited three-year warranty, with toll-free U.S.-based technical support available 24/7. Buffalo is also including 10 licenses for NovaBACKUP Business Essentials, which would cost you thousands of dollars if purchased separately!
A table comparing the four models can be found here. All MSRP prices are as of the posting of this blog article. 2-bay Desktop NAS – 4 or 8 TB Capacity
This compact appliance is smaller than a toaster! Its dual-core Atom processor provides plenty of power for professionals and smaller businesses, and its two drives can be configured as RAID 1 for added data protection.
4-bay Desktop NAS – 4, 8, or 12 TB Capacity
This model has four drive bays and, as such, is the lowest-cost model to support RAID 5, which is more space-efficient than the basic mirroring (RAID 1) you’ll need to use if you want additional data protection on the 5200 model. You can also choose from RAID 0, RAID 1, Spanning, or JBOD modes, giving you the flexibility to carve up your disk space however works best for you.
4-bay Rack-Mount NAS – 8 or 16 TB Capacity
If you need a rack-mount (1U) form factor, then this is the model for you. You’ll get a faster Intel Atom D2700 dual-core processor, no hard limit on the number of simultaneous users, and all of the features that Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard provides over the Workgroup edition (more on this below).
6-bay Desktop NAS – 12 or 24 TB Capacity
This is currently the highest-capacity model in the TeraStation WSS product line. Both the 12 and 24 TB units include the faster processor and Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard.
With four base models and nine total configurations to choose from, you may get a bit overwhelmed in choosing a specific SKU. Here are some things to consider:
It’s worth noting that, while Standard edition supports up to two Hyper-V VMs, the Intel Atom processors that power these TeraStation WSS units do not support virtualization.
Determine how many users you’ll need to support. You’ll see in the TeraStation WSS specs and the above table that Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Workgroup supports a maximum of 50 users. Actually, the hard-coded limit is 250 concurrent SMB connections. So if one user has three files open and sends a job to a printer connected to a TeraStation, that’s a total of four SMB connections. (And yes, you can use one of these boxes as a print server. They have multiple USB ports and the Print and Document Services server role is built into both the Standard and Workgroup editions.)
Decide on total capacity and redundancy level. My model descriptions above specify maximum raw capacity for each unit. When calculating how much disk space you’ll need, remember that Data Deduplication (discussed more below) can help you conserve disk space, whereas using RAID for data protection uses more disk space. The two-bay model supports RAID 0, RAID 1, Spanning, and JBOD modes, whereas the other three models also support a more space-efficient RAID 5 configuration.
The 4-bay rack-mount unit and the 6-bay desktop unit both ship with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard, whereas the other two units ship with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Workgroup. This makes the 4-bay rack-mount unit and the 6-bay desktop units attractive for several reasons:
When you do the math and you’ll see that Data Deduplication alone can help offset any price differences:
Put another way, if you need a large amount of storage capacity, using Data Deduplication to get it can be a lot more cost-effective than paying for larger disks. This blog article provides a great overview of Data Deduplication, along with additional links to learn more.
Note: Data Deduplication reduces the total number of concurrent users that can realistically be supported by about 10 percent. However, the faster processor in the two models that ship with Standard edition should more than make up for this. The deduplication process itself is so transparent and efficient that users accessing business documents on a group file share will never know you have it turned on.
Buffalo’s refresh of its TeraStation 5000 WSS product line to support Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 is further proof of its commitment to providing reliable, cost-effective storage to businesses of all sizes. If you’re interested in a TeraStation 5000 WSS, here are a few additional sources of information:
Cheers, Scott M. Johnson Senior Program Manager Windows Storage Server @supersquatchy